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Posts from the ‘Typically New Zealand’ Category

A New Years Trifle of Gingerbread & Nectarine

 (3)Now don’t fall off you’re perch’s because I’m posting twice in one week.  This is not a New Years resolution either so no one get too excited please. The next post could be a month away. I have just had more time over Christmas with the shop closed till the 7th but I am already writing my lists for shopping, preparing and baking to be done Monday. This was our New Years Eve dessert which followed Braised beef cheek and ribs, Mexican spiced. Accompanied with a piquant coleslaw,  bean & corn salad and homemade tacos. It was a gloriously sunny evening, we ate outside and lit the outdoor fire as the sunset so we could spend the rest of the evening outdoors. I have to confess, we didn’t see the New Year, I’m not much good with late nights, even on special occasions. Does it really matter if one doesn’t stay up till after midnight?

The recipe will made 6 individual servings or one medium sized trifle bowl. You can prepare all the components of the trifle or buy some of them depending how you feel and how much time you have. I have offered recipes for each part if you are feeling adventurous. I thought of buying a gingerbread loaf when contemplating the recipe, cursing that I hadn’t frozen some from my shop before we closed for Christmas, but when I looked at what the supermarket had to offer I couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

I’m also submitting this for our monthly Sweet New Zealand blogging event which is hosted this month by Alessandra If you pop over you will find more delectable sweet treats by fellow bloggers.

Simple Gingerbread Sponge

Preheat oven 160C, Line approx 18cm cake tin or tray with greaseproof.

100g butter, melted, 100g golden syrup, 1 free range egg, 100g self raising flour, handful crystalized ginger, roughly chopped. Save a few pieces of ginger for slicing and decorating the trifles.

In a medium sized bowl, beat together the butter. Add the egg and beat mixture again. Add the chopped ginger and flour and stir until combined.

Pour mixture into lined cake tin and bake to 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before using in the trifle. Crumble sponge roughly once cool.

Creme Anglaise

200ml cream or milk, 2 medium free range eggs, 1 heaped Tbsp castor sugar, seeds of 1 vanilla pod

Whisk eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. In a saucepan heat cream or milk and vanilla bean seeds over a medium heat to a simmer. Pour hot milk/cream over the egg mix and whisk while pouring to prevent eggs scrambling (easier if you get an extra hand to help you). Turn heat down to low and pour the mixture back into the saucepan, cook over the low heat whisking all the time until sauce thickens. It’s important to keep whisking to prevent sauce sticking to bottom of pan. Once thickened pour into a clean bowl and cover with lid or plastic wrap to cool.

Poached Nectarines

6 nectarines (or you could use peaches), 1 vanilla pod (I use an empty pod that has already had its seeds used above)

Half and de-stone the nectarines. Place them in a pan and cover with water. Add the vanilla pod and place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. I don’t add sugar to the water as the tart fruit contrast well with the other sweeter ingredients in the trifle. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow fruit to cool in water. If fruit is quite ripe then you may only need to simmer for 5 minutes or use the fruit fresh. Once cool slice nectarines into wedges, approx 12 wedges per nectarine.

Whipped Cream

150ml whipping cream whipped to soft peak. Or you can use more cream if you prefer a thicker layer of cream!

Assembly

Layer nectarines, sponge, creme Anglais then cream. A few slices of crystalized ginger for decoration.

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Simple Strawberry Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Syrup

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Just a quick post so I can sneak this into our monthly New Zealand blogging event, Sweet NZ. It’s not a new one but we are in the height of our strawberry season here so ‘oldies are goodies’ right if they are using seasonal produce, are easy to make and and look fab! Mairi over at Toast is hosting this months event, pop across and see what else our KIwiw family of bloggers are cooking this month. I’m heading back to my crazy pre Christmas kitchen baking up batches of Christmas biscotti, Pacific Christmas cakes (millions on order), Panforte for the shop, not to mention mince pies once December hits next week. I’ll keep you posted on Facebook!

 

Ingredients – makes 6

1 large punnet/chip strawberries or 18-24 small/medium strawberries (enough to fit 3 to 4 in each muffin tin base)

2 Tbsp Equagold Vanilla Syrup

100g ready bought puff pastry or 1 sheet

Method

Preheat oven to 180C, fan bake

Wash & hull the strawberries and place in a bowl with the vanilla syrup

Toss the strawberries through the vanilla syrup.

Using large muffin tin (6 per tin normally) place 3 to 4 strawberries in the base of each tin

Roll out the puff pastry to 1/2 ich if not using a ready rolled sheet

Using a large cookie cutter, slightly larger than the top of your muffin tins so there is enough pastry to tuck down the sides, cut out 6 pastry circles and place each one on top of the strawberries

Tuck the pastry down the sides with a butter knife around the strawberries to make a little shell that will hold the strawberries once turned out.

Bake in the oven on the top shelf for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.

To turn the tarts out, use a rubber spatular and slide it under the pastry and strawberries and turn the whole tart over.

I tried turning the whole tin over but that didn’t work so it is best to remove them one by one.

Serve warm as they are or with whipped cream

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The Smallest Chicken Egg & A Herby Omelet

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This week one of our new chickens laid the smallest chicken egg I have ever seen, well we think it is one of the new chickens. Above is a comparison with one of their regular eggs. If it keeps on laying them that small I might be able to sell them as gourmet eggs to restaurants but it’s likely it is because it is her first egg. Does anyone know? All of our chickens are hulking great Orpingtons but we do have one little chicken who looks a bit like a Bantam but she hasn’t laid since we adopted her and we think she is rather old anyway. It’s nice that our chickens are now laying, having adopted older abandoned chickens we were beginning to think we had acquired new pets and the most expensive free range eggs around with two a week from five hens. Not that we minded, they are very entertaining to watch, very sociable and keep the weeds in the garden down. Below is Beryl, not the best pic of her but at least you can see how big she is and she isn’t even the largest of them.

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 What better way to enjoy fresh eggs, a nice simple omelet with lots of herbs and some sheep feta. Use any herbs you prefer but lots of them, I used parsley and mint from the garden and coriander but basil would also be good. Then add your favourite cheese, I chose a sharp sheep feta.

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Ingredients for one omelet

2 free range eggs

large handful of chopped mixed herbs

a handful of your favourite cheese (I used sheep feta)

Method

Whisk two eggs in a bowl and add the herbs. I did not add any salt since my feta would be adding enough salt but you go with your own preference.

Place a small cast iron or non stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a glug of oil. Let the pan get hot so it sizzles when you put the beaten eggs in, helps to prevent sticking.

Add the herby eggs and cook for a minute or until brown underneath.

Add the cheese and fold one half over.

Turn heat down to low and cook until the centre cooks through, although I like mine a little soft still.

Serve straight in the pan and enjoy!

Campfire Cockles on a Winters Day

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Did you think I had forgotten you all? Were you beginning to think I wasn’t cooking anymore?

Quite the opposite, as those of you who follow my Facebook page will know, I have been baking tons and tons of pastries, pies, tarts, quiches and desserts for my Pop Up Patisserie in Waimauku which opened at the beginning of this month. It’s been a busy but fun three weeks, meeting lots of new people in my neighbourhood, getting used to my new kitchen, experimenting with new recipes and eating lots of  what I make! There just wasn’t enough time to sit down and write about it all.

A day off on Sunday, the sun was shining so hubby decided he was cooking dinner and he were going to eat al fresco. We headed down the coast, foraged for our own dinner of cockles and set up camp along beach river inlet. A few other ingredients we had brought along to jazz up our foraged cockles; lemons, coriander, salt & pepper, a bit of chili, a big wedge of sour dough and a bottle of vino. A beautifully simple dinner, cooked on a little camp stove, watching the sunset whilst sipping vino and dunking hunks of bread into the cockle juice. Life is good, it may have been a mid winters day and I had a blanket to keep me warm (even though the Kiwi hubby had a t’shirt on as he doesn’t seem to feel the cold like most Kiwis) but it certainly beats sitting indoors. I am sure you will agree looking at the photos.

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No specific recipe for this just enough cockles or clams to feed whoever you are cooking for. 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 lemon thinly sliced, salt & pepper, 1 glass of white wine, 1 small chili chopped, handful coriander and bread to mop up the juices.

Heat the olive oil in a pan with the lemon slices over a low heat for  a few minutes, Throw in the cockles, wine, chili, salt and pepper and cover pan with a lid. Cook for 8 minutes. Remove lid, add the coriander and serve. You could use parsley if you don’t like coriander.DSC_0070 (1)

Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons & my POP UP Patisserie

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They say every cloud has a silver lining and redundancy from my full time employment this month was just that. I decided it the opportune time to do what I have not been brave enough to do for some time and go into business for myself. I am opening a POP UP patisserie! Why POP UP you might ask? Well it is financially a lower risk and it also give me the opportunity to test the market in our neighbourhood. There was also an existing coffee and juice bar looking for some yummy food so we were the perfect match, two small businesses under the same roof complimenting each other. Our opening day will be 2nd July, 2013 … just over a week away! This is our address and opening hours:

9D Factor Road, Waimauku, Auckland (sharing premises with The Daily Squeeze) - Opening hours; Tuesday – Saturday, 8am – 3pm

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Menu selection changes daily but here is an idea of what mouth watering treats are on offer.

Homemade pies; Beef Stroganoff, Moroccan Lamb, Thai Chicken
Homemade Soups; Piri Piri Chicken & Corn Smokey Ham & White Bean
Sweet Potato & Blue Cheese Galette Roasted Tomato & Halloumi Galette
Rueben Sandwiches, BLAT
Savoury Tarts
Pain au Chocolat & au Raisin
Eccles Cakes, Scones, Shortbread
Portugese tarts, Palmiers
Vanilla Custard Doughnuts
Raspberry & White Choc Lamingtons
Blueberry Danish
Lemon Drizzle, Gingerbread Loafs

Also stocking artisan bread by Pukeko Bakery

…and lots more

And yes you will be able to buy some of these delicious homemade Raspberry & White Chocolate Ganache Lamingtons if you pop in!

For those who would like to try making their own here is the recipe below.

I’m also submitting this recipe to our monthly Sweet New Zealand blogging event which is hosted this month by my dear friend Sue over at Couscous & Consciousness.  If you pop across to her blog you will find a few more Kiwi bloggers and their sweet creations.

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Ingredients

Sponge base here,  plus 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries.

100ml whipped cream for filling & 4 Tbsps raspberry jam for filling

 200ml whipped cream for ganache

200g white chocolate for ganache

1 Tbsp raspberry jam for ganache

200g coconut thread

Method

Sponge method here, plus add the raspberries after the flour and stir through only a few times so raspberries don’t break up.

Instead of using two round cake tins like in the victoria sandwich cake recipe, use two square. this will make the top and bottom piece of the Lamington.

Bake as per recipe, allow to cool before filling sponge cake.

Spread the jam over one sponge layer, then spread the cream over the jam. Place second sponge on top of jam & cream.

Before cutting the sponge into square I find it better to let it rest in the fridge for a few hours.

Cut cake into approximately 8cm square pieces.

To make the ganache, place the cream & chocolate into a plastic bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 min. Stir and continue to microwave in 10 second blasts, stirring in-between until chocolate has melted.

Add the 1 Tbsp of jam to the ganache.

Now for the messy bit! Pour the coconut thread onto a tray.

Dip all 4 sides of each individual cake square into the ganache, using a spatular to scrape of too much excess ganache. Roll cake in coconut thread. Place on a tray the spread a bit of ganache ontop of square and sprinkle with coconut.

Enjoy!

Posh Bangers & Mash with Herby Peas

DSC_0017 (1)Bangers… does that make sense to anyone other than the British? Sausages earned the named bangers during World War 1 when the meat content in them was reduced due to rationing and shortages. More water was added which made them explode when cooked, hence bangers.

I was never a fan of sausages as a child but loved to make what we called ‘a bean fort’. A dollop of mash was put onto the plate and you made a well in the centre. Half a sausage stood tall in four corners as turrets to a fort and you poured your beans or peas in the centre. The highlight was to break the mash wall and watch all the beans soldiers run out. I obviously always likes to play around with food even then :o)

I began to really like sausages when living in Germany, where only meat and spices are put into the sausages, no wheat or other fillers are used. In New Zealand there is finally a trend by some butchers to make sausages in the same method, relying on their meat and spices to shine in their glory without packing them with cheap fillers. Amanda, my  stall holder neighbour at Hobsonville Point Farmers Market, who is the owner of Farm Gate Produce  makes these beautiful free range piggie sausages I used in this recipe. They also have a mixed beef and pork spiced sausage which is perfect not only for good old Bangers and Mash but makes a great pasta dish by using the sausage instead of meatballs. Don’t get me started on how amazing their aged eye fillet is either otherwise I’ll never finish this post. Anyway, if you do get a chance to try them, you really should and you can buy one of my sweet treats from the market too to finish your meal off.

A note when making the three elements to this dish, make the beans and peas first and put aside, they can be warmed through just before you are ready to serve. That will save you the juggling of pots and pans on the stove top.

Congratulations also to the winners of the Haute Cuisine double passes….. Genie and Sue, have fun at the movies!

Bangers – Sausages – 4 people

8 quality free range, wheat free sausages

Cook as required. If using wheat free sausage do not over cook them, treat them like you would a good steak.

Ingredients – Mash

1 Tbsp butter

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 x 400g tin butter beans, drained

1 x400g tin cannellini beans, drained

1 cup veg stock

Method – Mash

In a medium pan over a low heat put the garlic and butter. Cook for 1 minute.

Add both beans to the pan with the stock and warm through.

Once hot blitz with a wiz stick till you have a smooth puree.

I don’t salt them as tinned beans tend to have enough but go with your own preference.

Ingredients – Herby Peas

3 cups baby peas – frozen

1 cup podded broad beans (optional)

1/4 cup of veg stock

1 handful parsley

1 handful of basil or mint

1/4 tsp salt

Method – Herby Peas

Warm the frozen peas and podded broad beans with the stock in a medium sized pan over a low heat. Don’t boil them, they really don’t need to be cooked and too much heat will turn them brown.

Add the herbs and salt and with a wiz stick blitz a quarter of the peas, keeping the stick in one place so all the peas don’t mush. The quarter blitzed peas will create a sauce.

Assemble on the plates or serve on family style platters or if you have kids maybe they would like to try making a bean fort!

Paua with Tarragon & Lemon Butter and a Nod to Al Brown

DSC_0008Again we are enjoying the bounty of our local beach. With low tides and virtually no wave swell the boys had been out snorkeling around the rocks just off our Bay and diving for Paua. They didn’t get huge amounts, but one is enough for two people and you want to leave some to the sea so we have it in the future too. I had never cooked Paua, but I had been told it needed to be tenderized and cooked very briefly otherwise it would be like eating elastic bands. Google is every chef’s friend and I found Al Brown’s recipe, his posh version of shellfish & chips. For those who don’t know Al Brown he is one of New Zealands favourite chef’s and I am a frequent dinner at his restaurant The Depot.

The recipe below is for two people using one Paua.  I have added shaved fennel and rocket to make it more of a warm salad with the pan fried potatoes but I didn’t use garlic of parsley.

Below are a few more photos from our West Coast beach which turned on it’s spectacular waves this weekend.

Ingredients

1 large Paua, removed from shell

2 cups of small potatoes, pre boiled but still firm

Olive oil for frying

Handful of fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

2 Tbsp butter, softened

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

2 handfuls of rocket salad leaves

Salt & cracked pepper

Method

Arrange the fennel and rocket leaves on two plates

To tenderize the Paua, beat it with a tenderizer tool or a rolling pin as I did. I also cut away the muscle that attaches it to the shell and the tough frilly edges edges.

Slice the Paua ‘wafer thin’, as thin as you can possible slice it.

Mix the chopped tarragon into the butter and put it aside.

Cut the pre cooked potatoes to the size in the picture.

Put a few 3 tablespoons of olive oil into  cast iron frying pan over a high heat. Season with salt. Once it is hot add potatoes and fry on at least two sides till golden brown.

Remove the potatoes from the pan and put aside.

Place the frying pan back on the high heat and allow the pan to get really hot before you cook the Paua.

Because I only had one Paua I cooked it all in one batch but if you have more Paua meat then do the next  stage in batches and do not over crowd the pan.

Add a teaspoon of olive oil to coat the frying pan base then add the Paua slices. You want to only sear the Paua on eat side for 30 seconds. Remove from the pan onto a plate.

Turn the heat off and add the potatoes back to the pan, add the butter and everything will sizzle. Cook for barely a minute to heat butter through. Add the Paua to the pan too.

Spoon out the potatoes & Paua slices and arrange over the top of the rocket & fennel on each plate.

Spoon or pour the remainder of tarragon butter over the salads, season with cracked pepper.

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Pacific Inspired Smoked Fish Pate and Living Like a King

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I really do have a royal life here in Muriwai, New Zealand. We have just enjoyed a long weekend for Auckland Anniversary Day, the sun shone every minute, the Wild West Coast behaved itself and put on a special small clean glassy surf and the boys had success fishing right of our coast. It’s not often you get to launch a boat straight off our beach, as you will have seen in previous pics I have posted of the wild waves but this weekend was exception. Snapper, Kahawai and Tuna where all on the menu and we enjoyed it as sashimi, BBQ grilled and hubby even turned on some fancy pants Portugese dish…. I’ve got competition you know! The pate recipe here is made from smoking the fish heads, there is a lot of meat left if you fillet fish and we don’t waste a bit here you know. Our friend across the road smokes the fish in his top of the range flashy smoker, well actually it not flashy it’s our old electric oven which he converted into an outdoor smoker. The warmer draw at the bottom of the oven is where the fire and wood smoke goes and the oven racks are what the fish lay on to be smoked. It’s called Kiwi ingenuity, such resourceful people the Kiwis, I love them.

Here’s the recipe in rough quantities, play around with the flavours if you make it as it will depend on the fish you have smoked and how much! I have used coconut powder in the recipe which you should be able to buy from and Indian or Asian grocer.

Ingredients

100g smoked fish, approx (mine was a mix of tuna & kahawai)

Large handful coriander leaves, finely chopped

1-2 chilies, finely chopped

1 small lime, juice and zest

1 spring onion, finely chopped

50 ml coconut milk

1 Tbsp coconut powder (if you can’t get it dont’ worry but add a little more coconut milk, pate will be a little softer and less coco-nutty)

Salt & pepper, to season

Method

Add all the ingredients except for the salt and pepper into a bowl and mash them together with a fork to form a rough pate (no need to use a food processor).

Season with salt & pepper then chill in the fridge.

Serve with crackers or bread. Enjoy!

Pineapple, Coconut, Mint Ice Pops & Life’s a Beach

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It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve living in Muriwai, I’m still in awe of it’s beauty with it’s black sands, crashing sea and moody colours. Most people will run to the beach on a sunny warm day but I love it best when the skies are overcast making the thundering waves look all that more menacing. Eight foot waves where tubing in, I looked longingly at them and the daring riders rocketing down the wave face. But I confess they are far to big for this surfer. When the wave height drops in a day or two I will be out their with the rest of them, nodding when they say it’s been an awesome surf week, omitting the fact that I was watching not surfing earlier in the week ;o). So I ran for my camera and caught a few waves on film instead. It’s it such a beautiful place?

It was still a balmy warm day, perfect for the ice pops I had stashed in the freezer for such an occasion and I was thirsty and exhausted just watching all the action out to sea. Just a simple treat of fresh pineapple, mint leaves and coconut milk all whizzed together and poured into your favourite ice pop container. I’m submitting this to our monthly Sweet NZ mingle which is being hosted by Arfi of HomeMades. If you pop over you will be sure to find a lot more sugary delights to tickle your taste buds.

Ingredients

1 Small pineapple (peeled, cored and chopped, 200ml coconut milk, handful of fresh mint leaves

Method

Whiz all ingredients together in a food processor or blender then pour into ice pop containers and freeze overnight.

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Little & Friday’s Chocolate Cherry Cake & New Residents

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Happy New Year Everyone!

I have a little obsession for Little & Friday cakes, fortunately I don’t venture close to their cafes often otherwise I may look as round as this chocolate cake. For those of you who live in Auckland you may have already visited one of their little cake shops and experienced their baking delights. They’re what I call ‘real’ cakes, they are cakes with substance, traditional in texture but modern in appearance.

I have not listed the recipe as I have not bought the book yet, although it is on my wish list. National Radio have the recipe here, permission given to publish by the owner. The recipe came out exactly how I had experienced them at Little & Friday, although I did use cherries instead of raspberries.

We have new residents at our house, Beryl, Thelma and Nerys. They are three adopted hens which had been abandoned and we happily gave them a new home…. well actually a very elaborate coop and free range of the garden. They were all a little scruffy and dirty when they arrived and we were told they weren’t laying eggs but we have big hearts and decided even if they don’t lay we would look after them. A good bath, yes we bathed them! A good diet and they are now laying and they donated the eggs for my chocolate cake.

If you come from Northern England you might recognise their name? They come from the cast and actors of a TV series called the Liver Birds which was set in Liverpool, my beautiful home town. The Liver Birds are also an iconic emblem that represents the city of Liverpool, dating back to the 1300s. Two statues can aslo be see towering above the port on the Royal Liver Buildings.

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